Wow, for an innocent thread bump this is turning into an epic thread! Here goes:
Originally Posted by Ray Zee
i basically said about what you are saying so if you are disagreeing with me you are disagreeing with yourself.
I'm glad you finally see it my way
Originally Posted by Mason Malmuth
Variance and long term swings are not the same thing. Generally, in simpler forms of poker a competent player will win at a higher rate against terrible players than he would in a more complex form against the same terrible players.
But in a simple form of poker, the experts and the competent players won't play much different. Thus the relationship for the expert between win rate and standard deviation will be poor when against competent players even though the standard deviation (or variance) will be relatively small when compared to other games. Hence your long term swings can be larger.
Hey Mason, thanks for weighing in. I agree with what you're saying, but I think you need to extrapolate some of your points. Clearly if a competent player is playing a lot of bad ones and winning at a high win rate while playing a low variance style, he should experience smaller downswings. And you're right that when a player has only a small edge on his opponents, playing a style with the same variance as in the previous case will lead to larger long term swings. But even in a simpler form of poker like razz, there are usually ways to adjust your game to add small edges vs. either competent or bad players while causing large increases in variance. Ultimately this may lead to bigger swings (both up and down) and make it harder to measure your long term winrate, but it still increases your EV.
By the way, all of these mathematical principles should apply to all games not just razz. And while razz is certainly simpler than games like NLHE and one would expect players competent in other games to quickly become competent at razz, I have seen very little evidence to support this hypothesis.
Originally Posted by SleeveOfWizard
This is simply incorrect. Having a great winrate in midstakes razz, in my several years of experience putting in decent volume, involves playing super marginal spots vs the fish. It's a game where equities are close and it's pretty easy to pick up on the fish's range, so being able to put in thin bets from time to time is essential.
The whole idea that 'better players' are even at these tables often is close to a myth, anyway. I can count on two hands the amount of real razz regs that probably have an IQ over like 105.
As far as SG's points go, my swings may tell some otherwise, but I find 98% of people play too tight, minimizing swings and not maximizing EV. Variance goes through the roof if stealing and restealing frequencies are relatively high (as they should be anyway).
There are certainly players that play too tight, but I can't say I've ever put that number at 98%! What kind of ante structure are you playing in nowadays? That will have a big effect on what kind of VPIP and general 3rd st strategy maximizes your EV. And as you imply, there is value to be had on later streets as well vs. the fish, but you have to be prepared to go deeper into hands to get it which drives up your variance.
As far as IQ of razz regs go, I know you're not talking about U.S. players!! Even back in the days when the whole world was allowed to play razz, there were some downright brilliant players with tremendous success at other games who took a long time or needed some help to get up to "competent" at razz.